Counting single electrons in a CMOS circuit

We describe a device compatible with CMOS technology, which permits to detect a single charge by multiplying it to an easily measurable level. The device is a bipolar transistor optimized for the operation in the Geiger avalanche mode. A single electron, injected through the base-emitter junction, triggers avalanche breakdown in the collector-base junction. The breakdown is then rapidly stopped by a quenching circuit. This cycle produces a voltage pulse at the collector, which corresponds to the injection of a single electron. By counting the pulses, currents down to the atto-Ampere range are measured. The device can be used as a bitstrearn-generator in a delta-sigma analog-to-digital converter.

Published in:
2008 26Th International Conference On Microelectronics, Vols 1 And 2, Proceedings, 55-60
Presented at:
26th International Conference on Microelectronics (MIEL 2008), Nis, SERBIA, May 11-14, 2008
Ieee Service Center, 445 Hoes Lane, Po Box 1331, Piscataway, Nj 08855-1331 Usa

 Record created 2010-11-30, last modified 2018-03-17

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